When you start a project that requires an onboarding process, it can be helpful to think about potential stories for your users. This allows you to design the experience so that each step is presented at just the right time, and there is enough contextual information present to help guide the user through. To start with, you might want to think about the kinds of things that could help your user understand what your product is or why they should use it. You can then work on designing how these things might be communicated helpfully for the user.
If you are designing a game, you might start with an outline of your levels or puzzles. You can then think about how to introduce each element in the game at just the right moment and guide the player through it if necessary without frustrating them.
Once you’ve thought of the different kinds of steps that might be useful to include, you can make a list of these. It helps to write them out in the order they occur chronologically (or however it makes sense for your product) but without too much detail at this stage. You’ll probably want to get feedback on these at some point, so it might be helpful to include the names of the people you’re working with.
For instance, what does the user need to know or understand before they can move on? If any things only make sense, later on, you can put them in the next step.
Now, you can think about how to present each piece of information. If you’re unsure what’s needed or how best to communicate it, get feedback from people who might use the product (or at least identify potential users). It also helps if they are familiar with the medium you are using – for example, if it’s a mobile app, people who have used other apps will give valuable input.
Once you have worked out what information should go into each step and how it should be displayed, you can start thinking about what extra steps might need to be added. You might need to include some general information that many people would find helpful, or you might want to leave space for the user to enter their details.
At this point, you can show your work to a few people and note what is useful and what isn’t. You might also want to go back and change things slightly– for example, if some of the information is too vague or too specific.
It might be worth asking your users to complete the onboarding process as part of their trial period or first day using your product and getting feedback from them on how useful they found it.
- What are some typical steps in a new user’s onboarding process?
- What are some potential stories for your users that you could include in the onboarding process?
- How might you determine what information to put into each step of the onboarding process?
- How might you decide when to show information to the user in their onboarding experience?
The onboarding process is a wonderful chance to introduce your product and how it works and help new users feel confident about using it. Think carefully about when different kinds of information might be appropriate– for example, in the middle of a task. They might want to know more details about something they’re looking at. In another part of the onboarding process, they might want more information about how your product works.
To design a practical onboarding experience, you will need to do a lot of research and testing. It helps to think about potential users and what kind of information they might need before using your product.